Background & objective: Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells have the characteristics of rapid proliferation, high efficiency, and broad spectrum in killing of tumor cells. However, there was few report about its clinical application on treatment for cancer patients. The current study was designed to evaluate the effect of adoptive transfer of autologous CIK cells on the patients with advanced malignant tumor.
Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of the patients with advanced malignant tumor were separated by fractionation on Ficoll-Hypaque gradient, then cultured in the medium containing IFN-gamma, IL-2, and CD3McAb for 7 days in vitro, and than the cultured auto-CIK cells were transfused back to the patients. The numbers of transferred CIK cells per patient were 5-15 x 10(9) in one course of treatment. Among these patients, 47 cases received chemotherapy, 3 cases received radiotherapy before CIK cells transfusion. The interval between chemoradiotherapy and immunotherapy was over 2 to 4 weeks.
Results: Among 63 patients receiving CIK cells immunotherapy, the total effective rate (PR + MR) was 44.46% (28). In the patients with increasing of CEA level in serum, 14 cases showed reduction of serum CEA and 1 cases remained increasing after the treatment with CIK cell. In the patients with increasing of AFP level in serum, similarly, 9 cases showed reduction of serum AFD and 1 case remained increasing. The absolute members of CD3, CD4, and CD8T cells increased to over 45% after being treated with CIK cells. Among treated patients, the appetite of 51 cases and performance and sleep of 32 cases got improved. Among 18 cases, 13 cases showed the pain relief.
Conclusion: Adoptive immunotherapy of auto-CIK cells can significantly enhance cellular immune functions and improve subjective symptoms, but without side effects, so this is a safe and effective treatment for the patients with malignant tumor.